The House third read and passed the FY21 Budget on Wednesday morning. The new version included a core cut to all four year universities of 10%, $36,9 million to the UM System. Additionally, all MOExcels funding ($19.6m in total) was cut, and several programs listed below saw financial losses as well.
- $1m UM System Precision Health Initiative
- $60,628 Missouri S&T Project Lead the Way
- $133,378 St. Louis Biotech
- $1m MU Ag Research Centers (NDI)
- $300,000 MU Extension Pesticide Training Application (NDI)
*NDI means new decision item, this means that the funding was recommended and would be new funding. This is not an additional cut to money already appropriated but a cut to proposed monies for the upcoming fiscal year.
During the floor debate several legislators spoke on the importance of funding the Precision Health Initiative line item, including Representative’s Kip Kenrick (D-45), Representative Greg Razer (D-25), and Representative Sara Walsh (D-40). Originally Rep. Walsh had filed an amendment to move funding that would have lapsed from another area of the budget into the Precision Health Initiative line, but there was confusion on whether that money had actually lapsed or if it was still being used for the MoDOT’s Aviation Trust Fund. During third read, Rep. Walsh stood up and said that she had received confirmation that the money had in fact lapsed and that she planned to work with Senate Appropriations and Majority Floor Leader Caleb Rowden to restore $790,250 from her original amendment.
Our office would like to thank the many alumni and supporters that took time to reach out to the legislators early this week and ask for support for Rep. Walsh’s amendment if offered on the floor. We appreciate your time and help reiterating the importance of the Precision Health Initiative funding.
The budget is headed to the Senate for review and markup next week.
As we come upon the final weeks of the legislative session, legislators are frantically creating omnibus bill’s left and right. While the House passed the budget, the Senate had a busy week full of back to back committee hearings and lengthy floor debate. As bills are heard in committee and hit the floor we are seeing an abundance of amendments and language changes. Right now we are closely monitoring SB 673, sponsored by Senator Justin Brown, as it includes our Athlete Agent language from House Bills 2100 & 1532. This language would put in protections for our athletes from bad acting agents. Also, SB 673 contains many provisions related to continuing education hours and licensing regulations for many occupations, such as dental hygienists, optometrists, and physicians assistants.
The Senate Education Committee held a hearing on Tuesday where they heard nine bills, many dealing with elementary and secondary education. Senator Tony Luetkemeyer’s SB 811, giving the student representative on the Board of Curators a vote, was heard at the end of the hearing. The Senator had additional language added to the bill and commented during the hearing that the curator language will be removed from the bill before leaving committee.
We expect to see an education omnibus bill to move out of committee sometime next week.
Finally, the House Elementary and Secondary Education Committee met Thursday afternoon and heard Senate Bill 528, sponsored by Senator Mike Cunningham. Throughout the two hour hearing, many amendments were added related to K-12 education, however one amendment was added that would impact higher education institutions. Rep. Dottie Bailey’s HB 2518, which would require in-state public higher educational institutions to to grant undergraduate course credit for students who score 3 or higher on advanced placement examinations, was also added to the bill. SB 528 was voted on and passed out of committee.